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Uganda declares doctors’ strike illegal

KAMPALA – The Ministry of Health has ordered all doctors and interns to resume work, saying their strike is illegal.

 Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng says Uganda Medical Association (UMA) that organised the strike is not a registered union to lobby for labour rights and therefore their industrial action is unlawful.

In an 8-point statement read at a press conference on Thursday night at Health ministry headquarters in Kampala, Dr Aceng says the doctors never gave formal 90-day notice and followed no public service procedure in declaring industrial action.

The doctors want government to review their monthly salaries which will see an intern doctor earn Shs8.5million from the current shs960, 000 before tax.

But government says their demands are unrealistic. They also want a medical officer or a teaching assistant at Uganda’s medical school at the National Referral, Mulago to be paid shs15million and also given a two- bedroomed -house and a 2.5cc vehicle.

They also demand that a senior consultant doctor or a Professor be paid a gross salary of Shs35m minus allowances and five- bedroom house, 4.0cc vehicle and   three domestic workers.

Currently, a senior consultant doctor earns about Shs3.4million, consultant 2.6m and a Medical officer gets 1.1million as a monthly salary.

The doctors also want the salaries for nurses and midwives enhanced to about 6.5million besides a 3 bedroomed house, 2.0cc vehicle and one domestic worker

Dr Oceng ordered the doctors association which organised the strike to stop interfering with Association members willing to work; promised protection for doctors who get back to work; and, says intern doctors who fail to comply will have their internships terminated and have to reapply.

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